When Philip P. arrived at the Provision Center for Proton Therapy for his last treatment and graduation ceremony, he got more than he bargained for.
Ninety Corvettes, sports cars and hot rods filled the parking lot as more than 200 people from the East Tennessee Corvette Club and its sponsor, Reeder Chevrolet, responded to the call to give Philip, a car lover—of Corvettes especially—his own personal car show.
The 13-year-old from Kentucky, who is suffering from stage 4 brain cancer, made his way with two of his brothers around the lot, sitting in each car and taking a few joy rides.
The event was pulled together quickly, with the help of Provision’s Proton Ambassadors Vince Sica and Joe Hamby (the second patient to be treated at Provision), former ambassador Tom Zuraf and Jerry McDaniel, fixed operations director for Reeder Chevrolet.
McDaniel said he came back from vacation to find an email recruiting Corvette owners for the event—but just three or four had signed up.
“We weren’t getting a response, because it was happening in only a week,” Sica said.
McDaniel went to work, sending out emails to club members, and in the end more than 30 cars showed up. So did an additional 60 autos including a Porsche, two Lamborghinis and various hot rod and muscle cars.
“Considering we had a week to put it together, it worked out very very well, and, most important thing was we gave the young man a great experience to remember,” says Hamby.
McDaniel also went to work on giveaways, and club members donated a trunk full of memorabilia including signed Nascar items, model cars, books and a large collection of hats.
“That made his day,” Hamby said.
That evening, the Corvette club held its monthly meeting, where Sica thanked those who participated in the Provision car show.
“They were all personally, personally touched with the family camaraderie here (at Provision) and the closeness with Philip,” Sica said.
For McDaniel, it was also an opportunity to support proton therapy, something he has become an advocate of through his relationship with Zuraf who was treated with proton therapy and is McDaniel’s neighbor.
“The way Tom has explained proton therapy process, I guess I would say I’m a pretty good advocate of that myself,” he said.